Saga of the Northlands
At the start of each session, after adjusting his points in each attributes based on his actions in the last session or any other factors that might change his score, character gains one wyrd token for the higher attribute in each pair (Nobility/Guile and Valor/Subtlety). He may possess a number of tokens equal to his score in any given attribute; if he already has that many tokens, he does not gain another, and if his score decreases at any point he loses any tokens in excess of his new score.
For example, Sigurd the fighter has wyrd scores of Nobility 3, Guile 2, Valor 3, and Subtlety 0, and currently possesses 2 tokens each for Nobility, Guile, and Valor. A tiding just ended, so he takes a penalty to all of his attributes that happens to drop him to Nobility 3, Guile 1, Valor 2, and Subtlety 0. He has a higher Nobility than Guile, so he gains 1 token, bringing him to 3; his Guile decreased to 2, so he loses his third Guile token; and his Valor is higher than his Subtlety so he would gain a token there, but he is already at his maximum of 2 tokens and so does not gain or lose any.
Tokens may be spent to perform superhuman actions, alter the narrative or the setting somewhat, and otherwise emulate heroes of legend. The below sections give codified examples of what can be accomplished by spending wyrd tokens, but any sort of legendary deed may be attempted if it can be justified to the DM. In general, the amount of control that spending a given number of tokens is as follows:
- 1 token: a minor mundane effect or one that only impacts the current encounter
- 2 tokens: a major mundane effect or minor supernatural effect or one that can impact the entire session
- 3 tokens: a major supernatural effect or one that can impact the rest of the campaign
Whenever you spend a wyrd token, you must describe the effect, appropriate to the sort of token spent and to the degree of impact it will have. For instance, a character spending a Valor token to be Best You Can Be may call out to Sif to guide his blade and describe a subtle glow around him as he puts down a massive troll, while a character spending Subtlety tokens on a Curse might angrily describe the exact actions his enemy did to deserve a curse and declare that his target shall experience everyone he loves leaving him and then rot in the depths of Niflheim until Ragnarok.
All wyrd token effects are free actions that can be taken even when it is not your turn, unless noted otherwise.
If a character has a negative score in any Wyrd attribute, they gain one negative Wyrd token for each negative point of Wyrd each session (so a character with Valor -2 and Subtlety -1 gets three negative tokens per session, not just one for his lowest attribute). Negative tokens can be spent in three ways:
- Whenever the character spends Wyrd tokens to perform a legendary deed, the DM can spend one of the character’s negative Wyrd tokens to give the deed a drawback of some sort: using My Saga Does Not End Here might result in a permanent crippling injury with the expenditure of a Valor token, using Signature Item might give the empowered item a curse with the expenditure of a Guile token, and so forth.
- Once per encounter, the DM can spend a single negative Wyrd token to make a bad thing that happens to that character roughly twice as bad according to the type of token spent (such as spending a negative Subtlety token to turn a successful attack against a character into a called shot, or a negative Nobility token to cause a failed Diplomacy check to cause its target to declare itself incredibly offended and swear vengeance).
- Once per session, the DM can spend a single negative Wyrd token to tempt a character into performing an action appropriate to the token spent (let their curiosity overwhelm their caution with a negative Guile token, lie to an ally for an advantage with a negative Nobility token, or the like) because their character flaw represented by the negative attribute makes them think it’s a good idea. If the character has any normal Wyrd tokens of that type, they can spend one to negate this effect. Otherwise, they must make a Will save against DC 15 to avoid performing that action; they take a penalty on this save equal to their negative Wyrd score in that attribute, and cannot use other Wyrd abilities to modify the save in any way.
Wyrd tokens are represented by poker chips inscribed with the English name of the Wyrd attribute on one side and the Norse name of the attribute on the other. They are colored appropriately to be easily distinguished: Honor tokens are colored green, with the text on Nobility tokens being gold and the text on Guile tokens being silver. Glory tokens are colored red, with the text on Valor tokens being gold and the text on Subtlety tokens being silver. Negative Wyrd tokens are always colored black, with gold or silver text corresponding to the normal Wyrd tokens.
Tokens that are colored white or black with gold and silver text are not Wyrd tokens, they are Fortune tokens.